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Lankans must look past Randiv

Sri Lanka suddenly find themselves in the midst of a debate, which could have been avoided. However, it should not take away their focus from the game against New Zealand, as it is crucial for Sangakkara and his boys to go ahead in the tournament.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2010 23:34 IST

Sri Lanka suddenly find themselves in the midst of a debate, which could have been avoided. However, it should not take away their focus from the game against New Zealand, as it is crucial for Sangakkara and his boys to go ahead in the tournament. All the teams have played two games each, and the win-loss record stands at one a piece. A win in this match for either of the two teams will bolster their chances and provide them the necessary confidence.

Both New Zealand and Sri Lanka have not been consistent in their batting department. In the game against India, it was left to Ross Taylor and Scott Styris to salvage the situation. But in their game against Sri Lanka, the experienced duo didn't get going and New Zealand fell short of the 200 mark.

Sri Lanka against India was more or less a similar story. Mahela and Sangakkara didn't get going and Sri Lankan batting struggled against an organised Indian bowling.

The wicket at Dambulla is doing a bit initially and helping the seamers. The crosswind is also providing some extra assistance. The batters will need to apply themselves more to counter these factors, and if one settles down, it is a good batting track. On this track, they should emulate Virender Sehwag - the way he went about his job against Sri Lanka.

I was surprised to see the game plan of the Sri Lankan batsmen against India, even when they were four down for forty-odd runs. They didn't try to adapt to the situation and put brakes on the falling wicket. If Sri Lanka do not evoke the consistency factor, they will find it tough to compete with teams like India and New Zealand.

The Kiwis will have to find ways to counter the spin attack of the Lankans, though they were done in by the seamers in the first match. Not much should be read into the toss factor, as it has been shown that teams batting second can win. India against Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka against New Zealand stands testimony to it.

New Zealand have had time to get used to the conditions, and will be raring to go. As for Sri Lanka, they should get the 'Randiv factor' out of their mind and look positive.